Muller, Hermann Joseph (mŭlˈər) [key], 1890–1967, American geneticist and educator, b. New York City, grad. Columbia (B.A., 1910; Ph.D., 1916). A student of Thomas Hunt Morgan, he taught (1915–18) at Rice Institute, Tex., at Columbia (1918–20), and at the Univ. of Texas from 1920 until he became senior geneticist (1933–37) of the Institute of Genetics in Moscow. In 1945 he became professor of zoology at Indiana Univ. His method for recognizing spontaneous gene mutation led to his discovery of a technique for artificially inducing mutations by means of X rays that has since had broad theoretical and practical application. For this discovery he was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His writings include Out of the Night (1935), Genetics, Medicine, and Man (1947; written with others), and Studies in Genetics (1962). He also wrote articles on the biological effects of atomic radiation.
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